ICMSA leader critical of double standards between aviation and agri sectors

A Tipperary farm leader has hit out at what he describes as the brazen double standards at play in Ireland’s emissions debate.

ICMSA President Pat McCormack is contrasting the “deafening silence” on a massive increase in aviation emissions with the “fixation” on farming.

Ryanair this week announced a €170 million profit arising from a massive increase in passenger numbers over the last three months.

The Greenane based dairy farmer says this comes at a time when farmers are being lambasted over emissions.

“At the same time we see Ryanair announce significant increases in returns and flights and also given a very strong indication that that’s the trend they intend to continue with.

“So as a representative of farmers who are providing an essential product in the form of food we find it extremely frustrating to see these double standards where flying and the aviation industry is in a lot of cases is an optional luxury.”

A reduction of somewhere between 22 and 30% in emissions is being considered by the government at present with Green Party leader Eamon Ryan pushing for the maximum.

Tipperary based Pat McCormack says any reduction will hit farms hard.

“It’s going to undermine their viability. It’s going to have a huge impact in particular I suppose on the dairy industry where there’d be a lot of more intensive but small compact holdings that are viable as a result of their intensity.

“You will see a significant cost associated with food production as we move forward and we’re going to have to see food inflation.

“It’s challenging even at 22% – at 30% it would close a lot of farm families down.”